September 2015 and we begin our journey to Greenland. A country with a population of about 56.000, its main part is located north of the Arctic circle. Its name in Inuit, or the language of the Eskimos, means “The land of people”.
9/10 of the land is covered in a layer of ice which is 300 meters thick in the periphery and up to 3,000 meters in inland areas. Geographically,Greenland is a continuous plateau with many peaks, some of which exceed a height of 2000m.
As Greenland has a polar climate, the summer here is short, with temperatures around 10°C during the day and 5-6°C at night. Winter lasts nine months, while the polar night in northern Greenland lasts five months. The lowest temperature ever recored here was -59°C. Greenland has been an autonomous region of Denmark since 1721. The main source of income for inhabitants is fishing and fish processing.
Greenland doesn’t have a road network so residents have to take small planes to get from city to city. To get here from Athens we flew to Copenhagen and from there we took a flight to Kangerlussuaq. A flight that cost €2050 for two and lasted more than four hours.
Kangerlussuaq is a region of Greenland that is maintained mostly due to the airport. We stayed here only four hours, then took another flight with a small twin-engine propeller plane that brought us to Ilulissat, which will be our base for the next 5 days.
Ilulissat is located 350km north of the Arctic Circle. It has about 4,500 inhabitants and the only things you can find here are a cafe and a restaurant, which wasn’t open when we got there. So we cooked in our room with some things we got from the local supermarket.
From Ilulissat there are three hiking trails that begin where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area. There is the red, the yellow and the blue trail, which is the most touristic. On the blue trail, a wooden platform was built because the ground is very soft and not easy to walk on, especially when it rains. A nice experience we had was the cruise down the icy fjords, which lasted two and a half hours and cost 150€ for two people.
One thing that surprised us here are the dogs and how the locals do not treat them like pets as we do, but use them to do their chores and to pull their sleds. They gather them all together in one area and feed them fish, not meat. Everyone told us that it is forbidden to approach the dogs, because they are very rough and dangerous if they attack us! You can only pet the small ones you find in the streets.
Greenland is literally on the edge of the world and has a monotonous wild, natural beauty. It’s not for all travelers, but one thing is for sure, it won’t leave anyone unmoved.